When Lili Chen launched her Bohm Paris jewelry brand in 2016, it was her second brand—she had already cut her teeth on an earlier range, IKITA, using enamel, glass, feathers and semi-precious stones, but she wanted to create a jewelry line with a different look and feel. Using pure stainless steel in a variety of finishes, a distinctive graphic aesthetic, and the light reflection produced by Swarovski crystals, she developed a range of astonishing pieces with a sleek, contemporary feel touched by opulence.
Two years later—an incredibly short period of time for any brand to get off the ground—she has achieved startling stellar success: Bohm Paris can now be found in a thousand stores across France. So, how did she do it?
I came to Paris when I was a teenager, and immediately fell in love with its amazing energy and vitality. My first job was in the leather goods industry. Once I discovered pearls and gems, I started making my own pieces, and my husband pushed me to continue.
I’ve always been attracted to Swarovski crystals, so I dreamt up a precious brand that would combine the clean modernity of stainless steel with the bold brilliance of Swarovski crystals, and Bohm was launched in 2016.
I’ve learnt my craft mainly through my own experience, but also from others who have worked in this sector for some time—I’m lucky to be surrounded by a team of enthusiastic professionals. It’s always a challenge, because despite my experience there’s always so much more to learn. But I’ve arrived at a place today where I can easily spot which material would best suit various types of jewelry that I create. I’ve also developed a sixth sense with regard to the fashion trends that lie ahead, and I feel endlessly inspired to create jewelry that is simple, contemporary, wearable and beautiful.
My products are created and assembled in France. We’re based in Le Marais, Paris, and I’m the only designer here; but I do also use firms in other countries, because I haven’t found in France all the skills and the quality that I need. In a single day, a woman can choose to be a range of different women—she reinvents herself to suit her mood and fashion inspiration, and I want Bohm’s ranges to reflect this quality.
Crystals give such a colorful sparkle to each jewel—there are so many colors and ways of assembling them. I have a very strong partnership with Swarovski—in fact, Bohm is instantly recognizable because it has the “Swarovski signature.” Of course my daughters also give me some great ideas.
We’re currently working on a capsule collection that should launch in September. We have created it with the help of Maelys Roze, our very own Bohm muse. We discovered her on Instagram (maxxmackenzie) and we liked her attitude: she’s fresh, spontaneous, feminine, and she has a stunning smile. She’s the embodiment of what Bohm Paris is all about.